According to article 32 of the Standing Orders of the Congress of Deputies, the Speaker shall represent the House, ensure the unimpeded progress of its business, conduct debates, maintain order during the latter and provide for payments; it shall be likewise the Speaker’s responsibility to observe the Standing Orders and ensure observance thereof, to interpret them in case of doubt and to make good any omission therein; however, to issue a general ruling the Speaker must secure in advance a favourable opinion of the Bureau and the Board of Party Spokespersons.
In Spanish parliamentarism, the Speaker of the Chamber is an impartial institution which goes beyond political confrontation.
To be elected Speaker, a position which is to be held all throughout the legislative term, although in the past this mandate was shorter, absolute majority of the members of the Chamber is to be obtained in a fist vote, according to article 37 of the Standing Orders, and a simple majority shall suffice in a subsequent vote between the two who have received the highest number of votes in the first ballot.
Pursuant to article 72.3 of the Constitution, the Speaker shall exercize all administrative powers and police functions within the premises of the Chamber. Moreover, the Speaker shall maintain order in the Chamber and to this end he/she may decide to adopt disciplinary and order measures such as calls to order, the withdrawal of the right to speak, direct that any offensive expression be not published in the “Journal of Sittings” or even bar the person responsible for such expressions from attending one or two sittings, or order his/her immediate expulsion from the sittings hall.
All this has to do with the functions of the Speaker heading the Congress of Deputies. On the other hand, the Speaker is entrusted with other constitutional functions such as: presiding over the joint sittings of both Chambers dealing with matters related to the Crown, governed by Part II (articles 56 to 65) of the Constitution; receive from the King the proposal of a candidate to the Presidency of the Government (art. 99.1 SC), as well as endorsing the King’s acts concerning the proposal and appointment of the President of the Government and the dissolution envisaged in article 99, when no candidate obtains the confidence of the Congress in an investiture process (art. 64 SC).
Deputy Speakers may deputize for the Speaker, and the latter may delegate to them the exercize of specific functions.
Ms. Meritxell Batet is the Speaker of the Congress during the XIV Legislative Term.